There’s a new movement happening that is strengthening support for us. African American activist groups are beginning to publicly equate our struggle for equality with theirs.
In Ft. Lauderdale – where gay men have been subjected to embarrassing rhetoric from Mayor Naugle – Marsha Ellison, President of Fort Lauderdale NAACP, has stood proudly for our dignity against accusations from Naugle about public sex.
At a recent altercation between factions – that took place inside Fort Lauderdale City Hall – Ellison said, ‘’I’m not here to condone or condemn gay sex, this is a hate campaign against gays launched by the mayor.’’
More recently, the Maryland Black Family Alliance was formed as a result the Court of Appeal’s decision to uphold the state’s ban on gay marriage. The group hopes to show support of straight African-Americans for gay marriage as a civil right. And the organization’s members want to show that advocates of gay rights will continue to battle for equality.
Elbridge James, a former lobbyist for the state NAACP and co-founder of MBFA, told the Examiner.com, “We are here to say, ‘No, the black community is not homophobic‘. Civil rights belong to everyone. We are saying no to those who want to bigot us, divide us.”
Sen. Gwendolyn Britt, D-Prince George’s County, said she plans to sponsor a bill that would make gay marriage legal but stipulate that churches can decide individually whether they would perform the ceremonies.
Bowling, who is half black and half white, said her black relatives’ religious views prevent them from accepting her as a lesbian.